In February 2020, the council signed a contract with Styropack for a pilot programme of polystyrene recycling, which was introduced on a trial-basis in Banchory.
By November 2021, 6.802 tonnes of polystyrene had been collected since the start of the pilot, leading the council to extend the service to HRCs at Westhill and Alford.
Bins designated for polystyrene are now in place at all nine facilities. Styropack also hosts a collection point outside their Craigshaw Road depot in Aberdeen’s West Tullos Industrial Estate.
The recycling centres currently accept Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), which includes all polystyrene packing materials such as shape-moulded packaging, blocks and planks of fill materials, packing boxes and packaging balls.
Centres will not accept any polystyrene containers contaminated with food, takeaway packaging, biodegradable or compostable packing chips, or Styrofoam cups. Residents are also advised to break up any large pieces of polystyrene before visiting a recycling centre.
Styropack’s Aberdeen location actively recycles polystyrene into new packaging and is the leading supplier of polystyrene boxes to the fish processing and food industry in North-East Scotland.
Ros Baxter, Aberdeenshire Council’s Waste Manager, said: “We are delighted with the success of the polystyrene recycling programme so far. The volume of material brought to HRCs demonstrates a clear need for polystyrene recycling in Aberdeenshire, and we are pleased to be expanding this service into more locations.”
Cllr Peter Argyle, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “The polystyrene recycling pilot has achieved remarkable success over the past two years, despite the limitations that Covid-19 presented. The expansion of this service into more sites is a positive step towards improving the council’s recycling rate and further diverting waste from landfill.”
Cllr John Cox, Vice Chair of the Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “We are pleased to be meeting the demands of the public by offering polystyrene recycling in more locations across Aberdeenshire. As such, we are anticipating positive results will come from the growth of this service.”
Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford SNP councillor Gwyneth Petrie welcomed the introduction of polystyrene recycling at Alford’s Household Recycling Centre (HRC).
She said: “This is a welcome addition to the range of materials which can be recycled locally.
“With COP26 still very much in our minds, I think most people want to do more to help the environment and now being able to divert polystyrene away from landfill and have it recycled locally is good news.”
To find the nearest polystyrene recycling point near you, visit www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste/recycling
For regular service updates, including collection announcements, follow the Recycling and Waste Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AberdeenshireWaste/.